In a Nutshell: Dynamo Software is a technology service company that provides a configurable, cloud-based platform that consolidates front, middle and back office operations in a single system, and offers industry-leading solutions in the alternative investments space. The company has operated for over 20 years creating investment management solutions for general and limited partner clients to ensure they can adapt to changes within the industry. Dynamo’s CRM is designed to help fund managers with deal sourcing and track research, opportunities, and progress all in one place.
All types of investment firms require technology and software capabilities that enable them to maximize performance and develop internal systems processes to gain efficiency across the investment lifecycle. That has been Dynamo Software’s specialty for over 20 years, and its platform and related products have made it a leader in alternative investments fintechs.
In 1998, Dynamo’s Founder and now Chief Product Officer, Krassen Draganov, identified the need for an industry-specific CRM at the time for general partners (GPs), as well as limited partners (LPs). And over the years, the basis of the expansion into the alternative asset industry has been built upon the notion of configurability, as opposed to customization or custom code.
Dynamo’s configurable, cloud-based platform has been built specifically for the alternatives ecosystem which allows the software company to expand across both GPs and LPs, building an out-of-the-box version of Dynamo that specifically caters to those clients’ needs. And while the main platform development is designed in a specific way, it can also be tailored to fit a client’s specific needs and use cases to drive adoption and improve the learning curve of adopting to a new system.
After two decades of providing end-to-end services for investment management, the company now has over 1,000 clients, which has helped establish Dynamo as an industry powerhouse within the space.
Cloud-Based and Versatile Investment Management
Dynamo exclusively serves the alternative asset industry, across GPs and LPs, most of its typical GP clients consist of asset managers, hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, real estate, and infrastructure firms.
On the LP side, the company caters to allocators, which often include endowments, pensions, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and foundations.
Arie Oustinoff, Dynamo Software’s Head of Global Sales, said he is often asked how Dynamo collects feedback from clients. He said that listening to current and prospective clients over the years has really helped shape the company’s product roadmap.
“We conduct regular roundtables and conferences,” said Oustinoff. “We have what we call Dynamo University, which is where we bring on hundreds of clients to really hear about what challenges they see in the industry. Not only what challenges they see now, what they see in the upcoming couple years.”
This type of feedback has helped develop Dynamo’s solution to address those challenges, and the company works in collaboration with its partners to ensure that Dynamo remains innovative and at the forefront of the industry now, but also where it’s going moving forward.
Industry-Tailored CRM For Sourcing and Fundraising
If an alternative asset software provider has an overly complex product that is difficult for people to adopt and leverage, the clients cannot gain true value from the platform.
“Where we see a lot of time savings is in being able to cater towards our client’s needs,” said Oustinoff. “In many cases, we offer similar functionality to Excel where a lot of investment professionals within this industry are very comfortable and familiar.”
Being able to edit, update, and make quick adjustments with a user-friendly interface has been a key driver for adoption of Dynamo’s investment management solutions. There’s no need to pull up individual records and make updates or changes because Dynamo can do that on one screen, and that streamlined process has been a huge time saver for our users and tremendously valuable for our clients.
Oustinoff explained there are many aspects that make the alternatives market unique, and a lot of the challenges stem from the significant volume of unstructured data.
The company has helped drive automation, whether it be through Dynamo AI or Dynamo Data Automation (DDA), that help collect information and documents, extract financials, and automatically tag it for users within the product. Once the data is in the system, Dynamo’s dashboards, workflows, and reports have accelerated efficiency and adoption of the platform.
There are several ways Dynamo can help its clients identify who the prospects are, whether they are fundraising, sourcing deals or conducting investment due diligence.
Dynamo’s goal is to ensure that clients can easily access all their core investment data and contact information in one centralized platform. From there, Dynamo’s clients get a holistic view of prospect activity and interests, along with activities their teams have engaged in with prospects, to help ensure right-time engagement and follow-up, which can be crucial during fundraising and deal time.
Dynamo consumes various investment data feeds, empowering clients to have all critical information right at their fingertips. This way, investment workflows and decision making are truly optimized.
“Better visibility and increased automation allows our clients to focus more on what matters: making more informed and calculated investment decisions,” said Oustinoff.
Leveraging Centralized Investment Research Modules
There are many third-party providers in the market that offer valuable independent data sources, Oustinoff said Dynamo envisions itself as a central hub for all of its clients’ investment operations.
One way the software company tries to accomplish that is through its Data Integration Framework (DIF), sourcing data from APIs, SFTP and automated flat file imports. Many providers use APIs and offer point solutions, but when managers and allocators need to aggregate data from different systems across the firm, being able to automatically ingest information through various sources and formats can greatly accelerate the centralization of knowledge.
“The next component is integrating with commonly used applications, like Microsoft Outlook,” said Oustinoff. “This is where artificial intelligence comes in, with Dynamo AI, clients are empowered to intelligently scrape the contents of emails or documents, to extract relevant information, tag relationships and automatically save the correspondence within Dynamo.”
He said having that kind of AI system running behind the scenes versus having investment professionals manually enter that type of information is not only a huge time saver, but a key factor in centralizing relevant data throughout the organization.
One of the main challenges that exists in the alternatives ecosystem relates to LPs and the thousands of unstructured documents received from GPs (via email or portals).
To tackle that issue, Dynamo has a solution (DDA) that allows its clients to fully automate document collection, downloading manager documents, categorizing and saving them within the platform. Furthermore, Dynamo intelligently extracts financials, like capital calls and distributions, and publishes the data into the system to help reduce the human capital burden for LPs and deliver real-time performance.
“There are a number of different ways in which we can aggregate manager information to address this industry pain point. However, Dynamo has deployed a balanced approach across APIs, AI, robotic process automation, and human oversight to deliver both efficiency and accuracy for our clients” said Oustinoff.